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Ideas That Work
Dual-Purpose Charge
At Lightfair International 2012, Sharp Electronics Corp. created an ingenious messaging opportunity in an equally intelligent location. The company installed two solar charging stations outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center and adjacent to the shuttle-bus-loading area. Each station featured three charging slots on two sides. Branded with the words "Sharp Solar Charging Station," each unit also offered product messaging on its base. For example, one line of text read: "Visit booth 4741 and see the latest innovations and advancements from Sharp LED Lighting." In essence, Sharp placed a valuable tool for attendees in a prime locale, and then gave them product- and booth-related messaging to peruse while they charged their devices. Now that's a powerful idea.
Baggage Check
Despite their relatively small statures, some private jets can hold a rather large amount of passenger luggage. To demonstrate just how much bounty can fit into its planes' cargo holds, Honda Aircraft Co. unloaded its baggage at the National Business Aviation Association show. Next to a mock-up of one of its corporate jets, Honda stacked 10 rolling suitcases of varying sizes, two large backpacks, two duffel bags, and two messenger bags into a miniature mountain of sorts. The impressive pile of luggage provided a clear visual cue to attendees that effectively illustrated the plane's cargo capacity at a glance. The simple display put to rest the misconception that traveling on a private plane means traveling light.

Purposeful Produce
Nothing says "We've got fresh citrus" like a conference table comprising cartons of gorgeous fruit. So for its exhibit at the United Fresh show in Dallas, the Paramount Citrus Association crafted two conference tables out of little more than large, clear plastic packing crates, bushels of its growers' fresh oranges, lemons, and limes, and sheets of glass for the tabletops. The result was a pair of appealing, couldn't-miss product displays that doubled as convenient work surfaces. While booth staffers used the tables for client meetings throughout the show, the fruit-laden furniture also attracted the attention of attendees, who no doubt appreciated the refreshing scent of citrus wafting through the aisles.

Tech Support
At EXHIBITOR2013, Rhoddy Design Inc., an experiential design firm in Mississauga, ON, Canada, crafted an eye-catching exhibit comprising weathered wooden beams, steel supports, and an overhead 3-D logo made of rusted sheets of iron. But after ogling the industrial design, booth visitors were drawn to iPads positioned at eye level within two of the exhibit's roughly 10-foot-tall wooden supports. Here, designers created iPad-sized cutouts in the beams, inserted the devices, and then screwed metal bands across the top and bottom of the tablets to secure them in place. Despite the exhibit's antique materials, the high-tech devices — which displayed photos of Rhoddy's past projects — fit right in.
The Envelope, Please...
Keeping business cards, lead forms, and follow-up notes neatly organized at a trade show can be a royal pain. But it's also royally important. That's why John Moyik, president of DC Connect Inc., devised a simple solution for the 2012 MuseumExpo. He printed his lead forms directly on envelopes. After completing each lead form, staffers could then place any business cards, collateral literature, additional notes, and the badge-scanner printout inside the envelope and seal it shut. In this way, staffers kept leads organized and ready for the sales team.
Living by Example
Lutron Electronics Co. Inc. showed off the many hues of its light switches and wallplates by using real-world artifacts at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. Beneath a row of its polychromatic products, Lutron illuminated a long cubby filled with glass vases, each containing items that matched the color of the plate above it. Coffee beans, wine corks, turquoise glass pieces, and even red peppers gave form to Lutron's color palette, creating a beautiful and tangible example of how its products complement any décor.
Fun and Games
High-tech presentations and computer wizardry were everywhere at Interop Las Vegas 2012. That's why ExtraHop Networks Inc., a provider of network-based, application-performance solutions, enlisted national yo-yo champion Joseph Harris to perform aisle side. The company also devised various-sized graphics, including a roughly 3-by-5-foot monster positioned dead center in the island exhibit. The graphics featured a silhouette of a yo-yo artist performing a "walk the dog" maneuver. Along with the company's logo, text read "More Walking the Dog. Fewer Packet Dumps." While the text might be Greek to the general public, attendees understood it to mean that ExtraHop's products are reliable enough to free up time for other matters — dog walking and yo-yo throwing included. In a world of high-tech hi-jinks, ExtraHop's low-tech strategy was a breath of fresh air for attendees.
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